The Environmental A-Z…the letter T…Toxins and Tidy Towns…

 

Welcome to my Environmental A-Z…today it’s the letter T…I have been heartened to hear how many of you feel like I do that we need to take our own steps to avoid pollution wherever we can…

Abraham Lincoln is correct we need to act now to create the future for our families that we want…but at the moment we can only dream of…

The best way to predict your future is to create it...Abraham Lincoln.

 

The A-Z of the environment and Climate Change… letter T…

Toxic Chemicals…

Widely-used, toxic chemicals may hide anywhere IN YOUR HOME from skin cream to a frying pan. Let’s explore what they are and where you can find them in your home.

  1. Benzyl benzoate

    A common insecticide that is used medically to kill lice or scabies. It is also used as a food additive for flavour, in fragrances, and in plastics. It is a suspected neurotoxin.

  2. Bisphenol-A (BPA)and Bisphenol-S (BPS)

    Used to make transparent, hard plastic known as polycarbonate used for baby bottles and linings of metal cans. BPS is a common substitute for BPA since public outcry reduced the use of BPA in plastics. Studies are showing the chemicals are similarly toxic. BPA/BPS are endocrine disruptors, and exposure may cause obesity, reproductive cancers, and infertility…Why is it that manufacturers think it is ok to replace one polycarbonate with another one which is equally as dangerous to our health?

  3. Formaldehyde

    (A.k.a. methanal, methyl aldehyde, or methylene oxide) A smelly, colourless, flammable gas used in pesticides, building materials, textiles, cosmetics, and home goods. The “new” smell of a mattress, piece of clothing, or car comes from formaldehyde. It is a carcinogen and suspected gastrointestinal, immune, nerve, reproductive, respiratory, and skin toxicant.

  4. Parabens

    A preservative in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, parabens are used in toothpaste, shampoo, moisturizers, and shaving gels. Parabens are endocrine disruptors that can be absorbed through the skin, and they have been linked to cancer.

I have only listed a few if you do your own research you will find that almost every cleaning product, cosmetics, shampoos, detergents are detrimental to your health and the environment plus they are another piece of plastic that you are bringing into your home which may not be fully recyclable without using specialist equipment which many waste operators don’t have… you may think you are being responsible and recycling but what do they do with YOUR carefully recycled plastic containers… mostly it goes to landfill…

I am detoxing my home one product at a time which allows me to research that particular product then test it…it is also less plastic I am bringing into the home…Be the change in your home…choose a product then do your research… some creams and cleaning products you can make from scratch at far less cost others you can purchase environmentally-friendly replacements…

As I test and use /make products I add them to my blog…My Green Kitchen...

Toxic Cloud/Gas…

Put quite simply a toxic cloud is a mass of airborne toxins, e.g. aerosolized bacterial pathogens chemicals, or fumes released by the burning of a hazardous substance.

This shows the importance of awareness of toxic gases.

Toxic Cloud could result from a volcano erupting...although they can also form from pollution, air recently has been implicated as the perpetrator in pollution of large water bodies. Hazardous substances hitch a ride on the wind, moving great distances in a so-called “toxic cloud,” and, after clashing with cooler air, fall to earth in rain and snow.

Toxin…

A poisonous substance that can either be natural (produced by plants, animals or bacteria) or manufactured…

Natural toxins may be present inherently in plants. They are usually metabolites produced by plants to defend themselves against various threats such as bacteria, fungi, insects and predators, which may be species-specific and give the plant its particular characteristics, e.g. colours and flavours. Common examples of natural toxins in food plants include lectins in beans such as green beans, red kidney beans and white kidney beans; cyanogenic glycosides in bitter apricot seed, bamboo shoots, cassava, and flaxseeds; glycoalkaloids in potatoes; 4′-methoxypyridoxine in ginkgo seeds; colchicine in fresh lily flowers; and muscarine in some wild mushrooms.

Tidy Towns…

Participating towns are rated on their care for all aspects of the local environment. Sustainability and delivery of the sustainable development goals in their communities is the core focus.  Participating towns are asked to consider resource efficiency, biodiversity and Climate Action in all their activities.

Tidy Towns groups deliver many innovative projects for other towns, to help to protect local heritage and are involved in planning for the future of our town centres and community resources.

That’s all for today…thank you so much for joining me I do hope you are learning and enjoying these A-Z’s as much as I enjoy the writing and research…

 

Yes! Natural ‘soap’ from the Yucca plant

Wow! I absolutely loved this video when I came across it and at the time had no idea of the connection to Meeks book Vokhtah…You must check out those books I am reading the Miira series and finding it an excellent read and am on the second one which is equally a fascinating read…

Meeka's Mind

Huge thanks to Carol from Carol Cooks 2 for her wonderful post on all things ‘soap’. One of the fascinating titbits in her post was this video about soap in the desert:

Why am I so chuffed to discover the Yucca root soap?

Because in Vokhtah [book 2], I mention something called ‘soapweed’. It’s a root that’s used for washing when water and sand are not enough. Discovering that there really is such a root is fantastic. -dance-

And as an added extra, the yucca grows in a dry, arid environment, which is almost exactly like Vokhtah. Simply could not get better. 🙂

cheers,
Meeks

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October is National Apple Month…Apple Recipes freshly cooked in my kitchen.

October is National Apple Month in the US…it is also National Pumpkin Month which I have promoted more than enough as wonderful as the pumpkin is l think it is time I gave the “Apple” the spotlight…

Did you know that worldwide 7,500 different varieties of apples are grown? My favourite apples are Bramley’s, Cox’s and Braeburn apples which ones are your favourite apples ???

As the saying goes an ” Apple a day keeps the doctor away” and rightly so as that little round ball of goodness is 2/3 fibre it has lots of anti-oxidants especially in the peel so do not peel it…please. They are also fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free and come in all shades of red, green and yellow so many to choose from…Which apple or apples are your favourite????

Apples have been around since at least 6500 BC and used to be called winter bananas or melt in your mouth… Mmmmm, don’t really get that connection…

Who loved doing apple bobbing at Halloween?? Or that party game where you were blindfolded and had your hands behind your back and had to take a bite of the apple sometimes it was a doughnut…But good fun…

Still mainly picked by hand apple growing is called pomology and the apple is a member of the rose family.

The cook in me can tell you that two pounds of apples will make a 9” pie…that apples ripen 6-10 times faster kept at room temperature than if you refrigerate them.

Apples go well with many dishes and recipes I mean you cannot have roast pork without applesauce or coleslaw without apple my mum used to make wonderful pancakes with slices of apple in the batter and her apple pie was also the best ever… I am still trying to bake a pie as good as my mum’s.

Here are some of my favourite recipes using apples…Starting with coleslaw…

 

There are so many permutations of this dish and all wonderful in their own way…My version, 5 ingredients plus mayo and you have a beautiful slaw to eat with anything…

I add no sugar as carrots and apples have their own natural sweetness.

So….Lets Cook!

 Shred half a white cabbage or red or half and half.

Peel and quarter at least one apple and then slice thinly.

Grate or dice a carrot.

Put in a bowl, add some mayo,  pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and a good squeeze of fresh lemon /lime juice.

Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge may be covered until the next day but I just make it as I want it so easy to make enough for 1 or 10.

Enjoy!

Applesauce is one of the easiest sauces to make and can be used in so many different ways.

 

To make applesauce just peel your apples add a tiny bit of water and depending on which apples you are using you can add a little sugar…I don’t…Sometimes I add some cloves, a cinnamon stick it depends…Cook until softened and then you can puree if you like a smooth sauce or just roughly mash it or leave it as it is…

Applesauce pureed is a lovely food for babies when they first start eating solids maybe mix a little with rice or porridge for them.

*You can use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of one egg in most baking recipes. Some say to mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. If all you have is sweetened applesauce, then simply reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. Applesauce is also a popular healthy replacement for oil in many baked goods.

N.B I haven’t used applesauce as an egg substitute myself…Have you????

I love baked apples which is something my mum used to make filled with sultanas and baked in the oven she also used to cover the apple in suet pasty and make a suet apple pudding… All served with a bowl full of custard…I have happy childhood memories of these and although I don’t make the suet pudding we do love a baked apple like the one below and equally as lovely without the custard…

Ingredients:

• 4 large apples cored – any type except Granny smith which do not bake well
• 4 teaspoons unsalted butter cut in tiny cubes
• 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger or you could use fresh ginger very finely chopped or grated.
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• brown sugar to taste
• ½ cup apple cider ( I used ACV as I couldn’t get apple cider)

Let’s Cook!

Place your cored apples in an ovenproof dish. Mix the butter, walnuts and spices together and add to the centre of the apples.

Pour your apple cider into the dish to stop the apples from catching the bottom of the dish.

Bake on 350F/177C or gas mark 4 for 45 to 60 minutes depending on your apples…Baste the apples every 15 minutes.

To Serve: These can be served with custard, ice cream or a dairy-free coconut cream whip.

This was a lovely dessert and I think using Apple cider vinegar instead of cider took away the sweetness of the apple it was really nice.

What is your favourite childhood memories of eating apples????

My mum’s apple pie recipe…

apple pie-2760064_1280

To serve: Add a squirt of cream or some lovely clotted cream if you can get it, custard, my dairy-free cream as above or a scoop of lovely Cornish ice cream.

Watching the calories then top the apple with some meringue ..very nice or add a crumble mix my recipe for crumble made separately is very nice and you could add as little as you like just a spoonful layered into a glass gives that little bit of added crunch.

 Apple and Mulberry Crumble

What else are apples used for ?? Apple juice, Apple cider vinegar Cider, Apple vinegar all of which have many health benefits and uses… Just be careful if you buy apple juice that it is not loaded with loads of sugar and other nasties which those sneaky drinks companies put in everything…Don’t get me started…lol and if it’s cider( scrumpy) moderation is the name…

I hope you have enjoyed this post on the humble little apple…x

Stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as you know what I am going to say it is Free and proven to be good for your health…..

Thank you once again for reading this post  …Happy Baking! xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…October 17th-23rd October 2021…My Culinary A-Z, The Winners of the Earthshot Prize, Duqqa, Black Bean Burger, Music and S.O.A.P…

My Environmental A-Z, Music …it’s National Pumpkin and Apple month in the US…The winners of the Earthshot prize, Peanut Brownie Cookies, Duqqa, Black Bean Buns, S.O.A.P and Music by Coldplay.

Time is marching on and I am hearing little murmurings about Christmas…sigh…we are now nearing the end of October and Halloween will soon be here… Santa says it’s 62 sleeps…It is nearly time to start making those cakes and puddings if they are to be matured, marzipanned and iced by Christmas…

Does anyone remember the Tunis Cake ? a Madeira cake with chocolate icing and marzipan fruits? I’m thinking of having a go at replicating that this year…

Did you know that in October…? 

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere then you should have or should be planting those Spring Bulbs…I absolutely adore seeing the spring flowers… the first snowdrops, the beautiful narcissi and my favourites bluebells which come to bloom a tad later than the daffodils…but first, we have to enjoy the beautiful colour changes of the fall in the Northern Hemisphere…Those colours are glorious…the beautiful Marigold which is one of Octobers flowers complement the autumn colours…However, if you live in Southern climes then the beautiful Cosmos flower will be in bloom… such a pretty plant with beautiful pink flowers…

The name Cosmos comes from the Greek kosmos, meaning order, harmony, or the world…we could certainly do with some of that in the world…

October music...Coldplay has released “Music of the Spheres”…Coldplay’s next tour will partly be powered by a dancefloor that generates electricity when fans jump up and down, and pedal power at the venues. It’s part of a 12-point plan to cut their carbon footprint.

Two years after the band pledged not to tour until they could do so in a more sustainable way Coldplay are about 50%  of the way to achieving this… Coldplay will plant a tree for every ticket sold. Chris Martin said “We’re trying our best, and we haven’t got it perfect…For me they are trying to be the change…

I admire the band for taking a stand…for trying their best…I admire the honesty…the fact they are trying… I loved the fact that at the prizegiving ceremony for the Earthsot prizes In keeping with the goal of the awards ceremony, which is designed to incentivise change to repair the planet over the next ten years, 60 cyclists pedalling on bikes provided the power for the music performances…How awesome is that?

Monday’s Post covered the Winners of Prince Williams Earthshot Prize...what a wonderful affair it was the Prince and Princess looks amazing in their recycled clothes as did the guests, instead of a red carpet it was a “green carpet”…everything that could be done to make the venue and the ceremony environmentally friendly was done… which shows it can be done…I have every hope that Prince William will with the help of Sir David Attenborough be the change the world needs to survive this environmental crisis…

The Winners of Prince Williams Earthshot Prize Announced…

Halloween...a black bean burger and bun…I have tried both and honestly black bean burgers are tasty the buns are ok..to me more of Halloween Gimic but it adds to the atmosphere of Halloween…

My preference is a lovely bowl of soup…

Halloween Recipes….Will you dare to try a black bean burger and black bun??

Q was a poser and one where I couldn’t come up with much for the letter Q although I invite anyone to join with Pete who came up with marraQuetta or the alternate spelling marraQuetas and added one more culinary item where the middle letter is Q…Thank you, Pete x

I need to enquire though Pete did you mean “the drink” or “marraquetas bolivianas” which are Chilean French Bread Rolls?

The Culinary Alphabet…A-Z…The Middle Letter Q…Duqqa…

When there is a chill in the air or just because a hotpot hits the spot…As I have a food blog it makes me delighted when someone tries one of my recipes and gives me feedback…John did just that and much more he wrote a wonderful blog post…Thank you, John it was much appreciated and I am very happy to share your feedback x

Making A Lancashire Hotpot! Here’s The Recipe For this Traditional English Meal! By John Rieber…

We all know that we need to look after our health and apart from exercise what we eat plays a big part in that…Please head over to Smorgasbord Magazine and read how you can look after your Heart and Stress plus read about the foods and nutrients you require to do this…#recommended read.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Women’s Health – The Heart and Stress – Foods and nutrients needed to support you – by Sally Cronin

I love blogging… I also love the interaction with other bloggers and readers of my posts…I love it, even more, when we share recipes and tips…this recipe is one of Ally’s mum’s recipes so a much cooked and loved recipe…Today I was the sous chef and Lily was the baker of these cookies/biscuits…I roasted the peanuts and Lils did the rest there was lots of flour and cocoa about as she was rather enthusiastic with her mixing…we both ended up with a cocoa shower…lol…

The biscuits were beautiful …Thank you Ally for sharing your mum’s recipe x…Ally also makes wonderful Pizzas so please head over and check them out…They look and sound delicious.

It’s Cookie Time!… Today we are baking Peanut Brownie Cookies…

There are times in our lives when we need to up our nutrient intake but sometimes we are at a loss of what is best to eat for the maximum benefit…Sally has this covered…This week it’s Part 3 of Weekly Shopping by nutrient and Sally is covering Calcium to Manganese. Don’t forget that as an extra at the end of this series Sally will be providing a printable shopping list for you to make it even easier…#recommended read.

Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by #Nutrient – Part Three – #Calcium to #Manganese by Sally Cronin

Saturday Snippets is where I can indulge my whimsy and have fun finding connections to one word prompts…Sometimes that word just jumps out at me and others come from friends who kindly send me a word…Please keep them coming I love a challenge…x

Soap was quite a challenge as with words like that which are a product often don’t come up with so much but just the same ole same ole…lol and others like chocolate came up with so much more…but it makes it all the more exciting for me …it certainly gives the brain a workout…x

I think the soap Yucca was the most rewarding for me and I learnt a lot from that video which was very interesting…A useful and fascinating plant…

Saturday Snippets 23rd October 2021…Soap or S.O.A.P…

If you are still with me until the end of this post…then I thank you for your continued support and contributions to the comments… you know who you are… you make blogging so much more rewarding for me…Thank you…

I hope to see you next week with my normal mixture of recipes and environmental news… Enjoy your Sunday xxx

 

 

Saturday Snippets 23rd October 2021…Soap or S.O.A.P…

 

Welcome back to Saturday Snippets..where I indulge my whimsy and have a play with one word prompts…My muse has answered me and this week my word is…Soap

Soap is something we all use, something we buy off the supermarket shelves ready-made, some make their own it comes in many guises from carbolic to very fragrant…my favourite at the moment is Papaya soap…Made from natural ingredients, Papaya soap is a natural, gentle soap that’s safe to use on different parts of the body, including the face.

A normal bar of soap cleans and removes dirt. But it may be too harsh for the skin, stripping it of natural oils…

But what can I find with a connection to the word “soap” apart from using it to wash your hands?

Gamers out there may be familiar with Johnny “Soap” McTavish…

Johnny MacTavish, also known as Soap, is a character and SAS operator of the Coalition faction featured in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. First mentioned at the end of the Modern Warfare campaign and heard within a Warzone cutscene, Soap was released as a playable operator on August 3rd, 2021 as part of the “Soap Operator Bundle”.

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..Fancy making your own soap. You will need a soap Kettle…

The early soap kettles would have been heated over an open fire…

The word “Sapo” first appears in a book written in Latin titled “Natural History” by Pliny the Elder an academic from Pompeii. It was like an early set of encyclopedias of the ancient world, written around 77 AD. In book 28, chapter 51, Pliny writes: There is also soap (Sapo), an invention of the Gauls for making their hair shiny. It is made from tallow and ashes, the best from beechwood ash and goat fat, and exists in two forms, solid and liquid; among the Germans, both are used more by men than by women.

Making soap now can be almost an art form and some soaps look good enough to eat…

No Soap Radio…TV Series…

No Soap, Radio is an American sitcom and sketch comedy that aired on ABC on Thursdays from April 15 until May 13, 1982. Five episodes were broadcast. The five episodes also appeared on the BBC, where the deletion of commercial breaks gave the show an even more rapid-fire look.

The title is taken from a 1950s prank where “no soap radio” is given as a non-sequitur punchline to a joke.

Soap Nuts…Is not someone who is addicted to the TV SOAPS…like Devious Maids, Lifetime’s soapy series about four ambitious Latina housekeepers in Beverly Hills.

They are something that you do your washing with…over the last few years they have become very popular…Soap nuts, or Indian soapberries, have become increasingly popular in recent years for a variety of reasons. They are an amazing natural detergent due to a natural cleaning essence that is contained in their shell.

Although their popularity has soared soapnuts have been known and used for centuries: these soap berries have historically always been an integral element of Indian customs and used widely by many Indian households. They are the fruits of a small tree called Sapindus Mukorossi tree, native of the Himalayas and the mountainous region between India and Nepal. Also called soapberry nut husks, they are indeed the husk (shell) from soapberry nuts. Once picked and left to dry in the sun, these amazing shells contain a natural cleaning agent called saponin that produces an effect comparable to soap.

Soap Lake…Washington…

A story about Soap Lake Conservancy…A mineral Lake…

Soap Lake is a meromictic soda lake in the town of Soap Lake, Washington formed by the Missoula Floods at the foot of the Grand Coulee. The lake gets its name from the naturally occurring foam that gives its water a soapy appearance, and because the lake’s mineral-rich waters have a slick, soapy feel.

Soap Lake’s mineral-rich waters have long been thought to have medicinal value. In fact, it is said that rival Indian tribes would call a truce when they came to Soap Lake to relax and heal themselves and their animals. This is verified by recorded history and the number of Indian artefacts found in the area over the years. Washington State tourist guides in the 1920s referred to Soap Lake as the “world’s greatest mineral sea” and people afflicted with Buerger’s disease said that bathing in the lake cured their illness. The city of Soap Lake bills itself as “Washington’s Health Resort“.

S.O.A.P…Parody of television soap operas–the show’s humour relies on exaggerating soap operas’ characteristic plot implausibility and melodrama to ridiculous extremes, then adds a fair bit of the truly bizarre, including some remarkable characters.

Soap is an American sitcom television series that originally ran on ABC from September 13, 1977, until April 20, 1981. The show was created as a night-time parody of daytime soap operas, presented as a weekly half-hour prime time comedy. Similar to a soap opera, the show’s story was presented in a serial format and featured melodramatic plotlines including alien abduction, demonic possession, extramarital affairs, murder, kidnapping, unknown diseases, amnesia, cults, organized crime warfare, a communist revolution and teacher-student relationships. In 2007 it was listed as one of Time magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME“, and in 2010, the Tates and the Campbells ranked at number 17 in TV Guides list of “TV’s Top Families”.

Soap trees…grow in the Eucalypt forests of the Northern Territory and Queensland…recognisable by the leaves, which are glossy dark green above and silver/white underneath the flowers are tiny and cream in colour which produce a spherical black berry when ripe. Other common names are Red Ash or Leatherjacket.

In summer the fruits attract the birds…Leaves, bark, roots are used medicinally by aboriginals, berries to catch fish. Bush soap is made by crushing the leaves.

Soap Yucca…This is no ordinary Yucca plant…

I love this video with lots of tips and how you can make soap plus the creosote plant.

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S.O.A.P. were a Danish pop music duo made up of the two sisters Heidi “Suriya” Sørensen (born October 18, 1979) and Saseline “Line” Sørensen (born July 26, 1982). Their music was primarily written by Remee and produced by Holger Lagerfeldt for Sony Music Entertainment Denmark. They released two albums before they disbanded in 2002. They are best known for their single “This Is How We Party”, and sold almost 2 million albums worldwide.

I hope you have enjoyed discovering that soap is not always what it seems…Enjoy your weekend  xxx

 

Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by #Nutrient – Part Three – #Calcium to #Manganese by Sally Cronin

Part 3…Shopping list by nutrient…Most of us at some times in our lives discover that we need to ramp up our nutrient intake… this week Sally looks at Calcium to Manganese and the foods which supply these vital nutrients. #recommended read.

To make ut easier for at the end of this series Sally will be posting a printable shopping list so you can see at a glance what you need to buy….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/10/21/smorgasbord-health-column-weekly-grocery-shopping-list-by-nutrient-part-three-calcium-to-manganese-by-sally-cronin/